Some people love gear, and some runners love running gear. I am not one of those runners. I like to keep things very simple, but last week, I had to buy a 2nd pair of running shoes so it got me thinking about gear.
Many years ago, I was in the best running group ever. I was in a community with several military spouses, and we would wake up early, meet up, and run several times a week. It may have been some of the best running of my life. These women became my best friends, and over a decade later, I still miss those running days. I remember showing up and forgetting my running shoes one morning. I literally showed up to run with no shoes. Who does that? Someone who doesn’t think much about running gear. HA! Another thing that I remember vividly is one of my friends saying “for being the most experienced runner out here, your run clothes aren’t that great.” It wasn’t an insult; it was simply an observation. Run gear has never been a priority to me, so if you choose to read on, take this all in with a grain-of-salt.
As we consider shoes, shorts vs. capris, bras, body glide, socks, tees vs tanks, watches, heart monitors, caps vs visors, sunglasses or not, hydration packs vs hand-helds, and the list goes on-and on, it can become too much. Analysis Paralysis sets in. When that happens, we come to a grinding halt, and we do nothing. We end up spending so much time planning to run, that we don’t actually run. As important as some gear is, and as much fun as gear can be, the beauty of running is that it doesn’t need to be complicated. It doesn’t need to be expensive. You can find sneakers that fit, clothes that are comfortable, and you can begin by putting one foot in front of the other. Over time, you may want to step up your game, and if you are finding that you are experiencing pain in your feet or legs, then you need to get a professional to help you with your running shoes, but to start out, the key is to START!
Some of the basics for me are:
Nike Air Pegasus. This shoe has been around over 37 years which means it won’t be a shoe that I will fall in love with, and then it goes away after a couple of years. It is a neutral shoe, and I am a neutral runner. The price-point is one that I am comfortable paying, and I can find older colors on sale. I recommend going up a size, so if you wear an 8 in a regular shoe, you will need a 9 in your running shoe. I actually go up a size and a half because I like very thick socks, and I like a lot of room in the toe box. I don’t recommend going up a size and a half because if your shoes are too big, there is too much space for your feet to slide around, and they could end up ramming into the front of the shoe, which could in-turn cause you to lose your toe nails. No one wants to lose toe nails because of running. (I have lost a few.)
Brooks Juno Running Bra. I am a 34C, and I have a lot of elasticity in my breasts, which means that they move around if I don’t have a high level of support. I have found that the Juno consistently provides the most support for a bigger chested runner-girl, and I love being able to adjust the velcro straps.
Balega Socks. These are my splurge. They are much more expensive than I typically want to pay for socks, but boy do I love them. I only buy them at marathons, and I tell myself that they are the gift that I have earned. I also ask for them as Christmas gifts. Most people don’t love giving socks as gifts, but these are so fun and so cute. I sometimes get lucky and actually get them under the tree.
There are a few extra things that I never leave home without and they include Body Glide and a runner’s cap, but I won’t bore you with those details. As we wrap up this time together, what I really hope you take away from this (especially if you are a new runner) is don’t let the gear stop you. Don’t let it become overwhelming. Find some comfortable shoes, a safe running route, and get out there and have some fun!